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  • Kristan Higgins

Demolition man

Updated: May 6, 2022

I may have mentioned that we’re renovating our house…the first home improvements we’ve done since we’ve moved in, back when we were young and poor. Now, nearly 25 years later, we’re upgrading a bit. McIrish will get to park in the garage. Our cracked, vinyl tiled kitchen floor will be replaced with wood. A second closet in our bedroom, and a tiled shower.

It’s surprisingly sentimental, even though our house will be mostly the same, in terms of layout. We had thought we’d expand, but we nixed that idea when the architect made the house too glam for our humble tastes. The renovation will definitely kick the house up a notch, but I’m going to miss some things. For more than two decades, I’ve joked with McIrish, telling him the problem with our closet isn’t that I have too many clothes, it’s that he insisted that he puts his stuff in with mine. Our little shower has been home to many dog baths, one very memorable cat bath, too many post-operative showers done with great care, and a hundreds of little cartoons and love notes drawn on special waterproof paper.

Yesterday, I cleaned out the baking cupboard, which is big enough that I could crawl into it and hide. There, I found many boxes of baking soda, three containers of cocoa, a few boxes of tea, origins unknown. When was the last time I used molasses? Best not to speculate. That cupboard, where the kids used to hide and eat chocolate chips and brown sugar, was a curse, but also so much fun. It’ll be replaced by something much more user-friendly, but I’ll never forget the cat and my son sitting in there so happily.

Tomorrow, when the demolition begins, my plan is to run back to our little house on the Cape and hide from the sight of sledgehammers taking out the island McIrish built, the broom closet where we kept the Scrabble game, the bedroom walls I painted red when McIrish was at the fire academy. That’s asking just a little too much.

I can’t wait for the new look and all the conveniences and beauty it will bring. But with apologies to our lovely and kind contractor, I don’t want to see the destruction live and in person.


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